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Pacific ministers endorse Fiji camp as disaster relief depot

Pacific countries have officially agreed to use the Fijian Military's Blackrock Camp as a regional humanitarian relief depot.

Fiji's Disaster Minister Inia Seruiratu announced the endorsement of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) facility while outlining the 11-point declaration made by Pacific Island Forum's Disaster Ministers in Nadi.

The state of the art Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Facility, Blackrock, boasts a large scale relief warehouse, logistics headquarters necessary to coordinate relief response work, a medical centre, and physical training facilities.

The redevelopment of Blackrock Camp, conducted as part of the Australian Government's Pacific Step-up programme, cost $AU100 million and was built over almost three years.

"The disaster ministers have considered that the Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Facility to be used as a regional humanitarian depot that would help overcome the challenges of geography in the Pacific and enable humanitarian actors to pre-position and stockpile relief items and support equipment for swift delivery in emergency situations," Seruiratu said.

Seruiratu said the declaration, which was endorsed by representatives from 17 Pacific Island Countries who attended the first Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Ministers (PDRRMM) meeting, also committed to "working in genuine and inclusive partnership."

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